Monday, August 08, 2005

Book Number 30

This book is going to actually be a combination of 2 books - well, one is actually a novella. If you ask me, they were a very strange combination to have read over the past couple of days.

The Outrider #3: Blood Highway by Richard Harding

blood highwayBlood Highway picks up the story of Bonner, the post-apocalyptic adventurer. This time he discovers that his friends in the idyllic town of Almost Normal have been captured by Slavers and are to be sold to Leatherman, his nemesis. En route to try to rescue them, he hooks up with the Lashmen, a crazed biker gang of midgets. They must all band together to try to effect a rescue at the Slavers compound.

This Outrider was the weakest so far but still had some pretty fun set pieces and ultaviolence. We'll see how the series progresses. Next up: Bay City Burnout

Shopgirl by Steve Martin

shopgirljerkshopgirl book

Steve Martin appears to be on track towards an aspiration of becoming a legitimate artiste. He has transitioned from the wacky actor of The Jerk to the bland, put-upon father figure of Parenthood and Cheaper By The Dozen. And now a writer. He has sold his short novella, Shopgirl, and written the screenplay and been cast in the lead along with Claire Danes and Jason Schwartzman.

Mirabelle is the shopgirl who sells gloves in a large department store in LA. She is attractive, artistic, bored, depressive and medicated. Her life is hermetically sealed from outside influences. She dates Jeremy, a slacker, only so she can obtain a potential post-coital cuddle. One day Ray Porter comes into her life. He is wealthy, older, sophisticated and distant. They connect. Ultimately, Mirabelle must figure out what she wants from her life.

I don't know about this book. I guess that it might be classed as what they're calling chick-lit these days. The story is written in the third person which adds to the whole feeling of detachment. I found it hard to empathise with any of these characters wan LA problems. What I had hoped for was some of Martin's acerbic wit that I have seen used in his magazine essays and so forth. The film is being released as a comedy so perhaps more of that will come through.


Buzby said...

It's a contest between Murray and Martin. Martin appears to be winning.

Crumbolst said...

I read his book Pure Drivel and found it kind of boring. Pithy, yes, and it had some clever observations, but generally boring. I think Martin has the skills and intelligence to go deeper than he does but he seems to prefer it light and... well, just light.

I loved The Jerk, though.

Olman Feelyus said...

I loved the jerk as well, but I'm not a huge Steve Martin fan, not even of his SNL days. I liked the idea of him writing, and I read the first quarter of shopgirl as well as his stuff in the New Yorker, but as crumbolst said, it's kind of boring. He tries to be dry and clever and mature, but there just isn't enough depth or complexity there. He's very safe and middle-class, which is exactly what the Jerk wasn't.